Is OGX a Sustainable & Clean Brand?
OGX is a well known shampoo and conditioner brand founded in 1987 in Clearwater, Florida. The brand was purchased by Johnson and Johnson in 2016 and enjoys widespread success across the globe – found in most of the gigantic supermarkets such as Walmarts and Target. Their self-proclaimed selling point is their strong emphasis on exotic ingredients.
The company has a controversial past, attracting litigation whilst operating under the name “Organix”. Whilst not explicitly stating that their products were organic, the use of the brand was clearly designed to steer consumers toward this assumption. This eventually led to a $6.5 million class action settlement, settled in August of 2013.
So how does the company rate when it comes to the three pillars of clean ingredients, sustainable packaging, and animal welfare? We investigated, and here’s what we found.
Ingredients (Rating: Bad)
OGX does provide information under the “FAQs” section of their website with regards to a limited number of ingredients (namely parabens and sulfates). Moreover, under the “Products” section of their website is a full list of products—each product replete with an image, list of ingredients, and questions and answers.
As with the FAQ section, the question and answer sections under each product description tend to focus upon parabens and sulfates. More importantly, under each list of ingredients is a disclaimer noting that OGX cannot guarantee that their ingredients lists are ‘complete, reliable and up-to-date’—something that is worth bearing in mind.
From our research, we found that there are a number of ingredient in each of their products that we recommend avoiding.
While their products do a little better with regards to risks from carcinogens, as well as developmental and reproductive toxicity, there are certainly enough chemicals in their products that your body can do without. This is by no means an holistic look at all ingredients in the OGX range, nonetheless, a few ingredients to look out for include:
It is here that OGX comes undone. OGX uses chemical fragrance in almost all of their products. The chemicals used to fragrance their range are linked to a number of allergic responses, as well as immunotoxicity and endocrine disruption.
While many sources have generally found this product to be safe – especially in products that are soon rinsed off of the body and hair, the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has found strong evidence that the chemical is a strong endocrine disruptor.
Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate)
This chemical sunscreen is found in many OGX products. Octinoxate is a hormone disruptor, can produce estrogen-like effects and has thus been associated with biochemical and cellular level changes.
Sustainability (Rating: Bad)
Most OGX products are sold in single-use plastic containers, and the brand has no recycling, refill or return programs. Despite an extensive search through their range of products, nothing other than plastic could be found. In addition, no information in terms of product shipping or sustainable supply-chain management could be found.
For this reason, the brand gets a failing grade in terms of sustainability.
Animal Welfare (Rating: Bad)
OGX writes that they are a cruelty-free brand. Under the FAQ section on the brand website, the company makes a compelling argument against testing on animals and seeks to be ‘part of the solution’, partnering with and working alongside organizations around the world that promote non-animal alternative testing methods. That being said, the company states that they do not test any of their products and ingredients on animals anywhere in the world, except in rare situations where animal testing is required by law or where alternatives to validate safety data do not yet exist. Their products are sold in China, a country that requires by law that products be tested on animals.
OGX is not a vegan company and no information on the subject can be found on the company website – the company uses products derived from animals.
Our rating scale ranges from “Best” (for having the best practices) to “Bad” (for having unacceptable practices). We rated OGX as follows.
|Bad – Virtually every product the brand offers contains a number of ingredients we recommend avoiding.
|Bad – Plastic packaging is used for all products, with no chance of recycling.
|Bad – The brand is neither cruelty-free nor vegan. Their products being available in China opens them up to the possibility of post-market animal testing.
Overall Rating: Avoid
OGX unfortunately is not what we would describe as a sustainable company, missing the mark entirely when it comes to recycling. Despite arguing against animal cruelty, the company nonetheless sells their products in markets that do not share the same commitment, nor is the company vegan.
The company has been rated here as Bad, simply for the fact that there are a number of problematic ingredients in each of their products, which rules out the ability to make a safe purchase.